Marine and Coastal Tourism BA (Hons)

What is special about this course?

Prepare yourself for an exciting and successful career in a rapidly growing area with the BA (Hons) Marine & Coastal Tourism. This unique course, the first of its kind in the UK, focusses on activities, environment, customers and policy, with both a UK and International perspective. The 4-year honours degree integrates theory and practice to develop your skills and academic knowledge as a tourism professional working in the marine and coastal sector.

You will learn and apply knowledge in, for example: marine archaeology, marine ecology and interpretation and sustainable tourism, alongside practical skills and leadership training.

You will be based in Lochaber, the ‘Outdoor Capital of the UK’, one of the finest UK locations for adventure tourism. The natural heritage, culture of the West Highlands and its coasts and islands create our playground.  The beautiful Small Isles, the iconic Isle of Skye and the Sound of Arisaig Marine Special Area of Conservation are just around the corner.

You will also benefit from the expertise of our academic staff and expert associate practitioners, who are highly experienced and qualified.

Special features

  • Strong links with many marine and coastal-based businesses in Scotland and throughout the UK, including Scotland’s national centres, Glenmore Lodge and Cumbrae
  • Applying cutting edge theory and research to the exciting and dynamic tourism sector
  • Excellent work-based placement opportunities around the UK and abroad
  • Residential field trips and many other opportunities to enhance your skills and experience in marine and coastal activities
  • Be part of a vibrant and active student community of outdoor enthusiasts based in Fort William – within the Outdoor Capital of the UK
  • You will have access to outstanding facilities set amongst some of the most beautiful scenery in the UK

Entry requirements

  • 3 Scottish Highers at grade C or above OR
  • 2 A levels at grade C or above
  • You will also need to have Standard Grade, National 4/5 or GCSE English and Mathematics, and be able to demonstrate your commitment to marine and coastal activities
  • Applicants with significant industry or activity experience will be considered providing they can demonstrate sufficient academic potential
  • You may be required to attend an interview

Year 1 - CertHE

Modules may include:

  • Marine and Coastal Tourism in the UK
  • Introduction to Adventure Tourism
  • Introduction to the Customer-centred Business 
  • Adventure Tourism Products and Services

Year 3 - BA

Modules may include:

  • International Marine and Coastal Tourism
  • Management of the Marine Resource
  • Planning International Expeditions
  • Research Skills
  • Understanding Visitor Behaviour
  • Sustainable Tourism and the Environment
  • Work Placement 

Year 2 - DipHE

Modules may include:

  • Adventure Operations Management 
  • Marine Tourism Field Course
  • Contemporary Issues in Management
  • Marine Environments
  • Work Placement

Year 4 - BA (Hons)

Modules may include:

  • Critical Perspectives of Marine and Coastal Tourism
  • Marine Archaeology and Heritage
  • Selling ‘Cold’ Islands
  • Emergent Tourism Trends

You will also complete a dissertation.

How will I study my course?


  • You will learn through a combination of face-to-face lectures and tutorials in the classroom, with some teaching by video conference from other university campuses, and online study via the university’s virtual learning environment (VLE).
  • You will also have the opportunity of increasing your skills through practical experiential learning. The main practical disciplines included are snorkelling, scuba diving, sailing (dinghy and yacht), power boating, paddle sports (sea kayak and surf), surfing and coasteering, with a wide range of progression and application of theories at all 4 year levels.

How long will my course last?

Full-time: 4 years 

Where can I study my course?

Start date


How much will my course cost?

For students normally domiciled in Scotland or the European Union/EEA (outside of the UK) and with a term time address in Scotland, the following fees apply:

Full-time (120 credit modules) per year £1,820 £1,820
Part-time (structured) (3 x 20 credit modules) per year £645 £645
Part-time (unstructured per module) (per 20 credit module) £215 £215

*The Scotland/EU fee has not yet been agreed by the Scottish Government. The indicative fee level is shown in the table.

Rest of UK students

For students normally domiciled in the rest of the UK (England, Wales and N. Ireland) and with a term time address in Scotland studying this course full time, the following fees apply:

    Full-time Full-time
Year 1 CertHE £8,000 p.a. £8,000 p.a.
Year 2 DipHE £8,000 p.a. £8,000 p.a.
Year 3 Degree £8,000 p.a. £8,000 p.a.
Year 4 Honours free** free**

**4th year free only for students studying full-time who have paid for the previous 3 years at the University of the Highlands and Islands.

Part-time (per 20 credit module) -  £1,340 (2016-17 and 2017-18)

Fees are payable in advance each academic year unless otherwise agreed.

There are a number of funding options available to UK and EU students to help you pay for your studies and your cost of living whilst studying.


International students

For students who do not normally reside in the UK or European Union and with a term-time address in Scotland, the following fees apply:

  2016-17 2017-18
Full-time (120 credit modules) per year £10,000 £10,500
Part-time (structured) (3 x 20 credit modules) per year*** £5,040 £5,250
Part-time (unstructured per module) (per 20 credit module)*** £1,680 £1,750

***There is no part-time study option for Tier 4 sponsored international students.

Further information on international course fees.

A no fee increase guarantee is available for self-funding full-time and structured part-time RUK and International undergraduate students for continuous and contiguous study for the same award, up to the permitted standard time limit for the relevant award.

What funding can I apply for?

External scholarships and financial support may be available. Contact the relevant university partner college for more information.

What can I do on completion of my course?

Once you have successfully completed this course, you might like to consider careers in:

  • Guiding, coaching and instructing marine and coastal outdoor activities
  • Work in any of the various aspects of the marine and coastal industry – marinas, marine wildlife tourism, guiding, adventure tourism, outdoor education, international expeditions
  • Working in product and strategy development, from company to national level
  • Setting up your own small business

Can I progress into further study?

You can progress from the BA (Hons) Marine and Coastal Tourism to the following university postgraduate courses: 

Is there more information available online?

You can use the above QR code to connect directly to the course details.

Apply for Marine and Coastal Tourism BA (Hons)

I want to start in Aug/Sep 2017

International applicants should apply using the UHI International application form. Please download and print the form, complete and return using the address indicated. More information is available for international applicants at our international student page

We are delighted that you are thinking about studying at the University of the Highlands and Islands (UHI). UHI operates a fair and open admissions system committed to equality of opportunity and non-discrimination. We consider all applications on merit and on the basis of ability to achieve, without discrimination on grounds of gender, age, disability, ethnicity and socio-economic background. We welcome applications from all prospective students and aim to provide appropriate and efficient services to students with disabilities.

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